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  1. Good old fashioned car shampoo does the trick in washing the bike. DO NOT USE washing-up liquid as it contains salt that will corrode both steel and alloy. If you do you really do have to rinse the bike well. Cleaning sprays are not really worth the money, especially with mtb’s. Motorcycle spay cleaners are paint friendly and more powerful and cheaper.

    Chain cleaners are good, especially in the winter months, but for after-ride care just spray the chain and sprockets with WD40 (or similar) and work the chain and spockets with a toothbrush and old washing-up brush, wipe off with a rag and lubricate.

    Lubes, or oil as it used to be called before becoming trendy (like Campy and fixie!). Lube is expensive for what it is. A big tin of old 3 in 1 will do (very cheap) the same job, especially in the winter when the chain requires constant cleaning and re-application of oil. The problem is that it comes out of the tin too liberally as you cannot nip the spout to give a small outlet. You can transfer it to an old “cycle” lube container so that you can oil the chain sparingly.

    Oil the rollers connecting the links as the oil has to penetrate the inner workings of the chain as well. Do every roller and run the chain over the sprockets (change gear) and you will see a nice thin film of oil on the surface of the chain and sprockets.

    On the mtb I do normally use a dry lubricant in the summer months to stop dust sticking to the transmission. On the mtb I do find that this does actually help.

    Keep your bike, and especially the transmission, clean and it will serve you better.

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